Huh ha. Lettusu purei Meisaju Gemu
I had an entire class today and wasn't prepared for it. I was expecting to discuss robots with one half, but instead had to improvise. Being so close to vacation they didn't care and weren't very helpful. Eventually I decided we'd play telephone. I got them in a circle and described the rules. "Oh, c'est téléphone arabe!" Arab telephone is what they call it here. According to the French wiki entry this is in reference to the fact that 'mouth to ear' [I think this is also considered talking or basic verbal communication] is supposed to be one of the more widely used means of communication for Arab people. Those gossipy Arabs!
From this article I also found that the 'telephone game' is really called 'Chinese Whispers' in English according to the list of names for the game around the world. (Also of note: the name in Chinese, according to the French page, is "untranslatable". Or is it just anti-French?)
The English wiki entry did confirm this 'Chinese Whispers' nonsense. “The sinophobic name points to the centuries-old tradition in Europe of representing spoken Chinese as an incomprehensible and unpronounceable combination of sounds.” The discussion page does have a lively talk about whether or not the name is offensive. What I find bizarre is that England (UK, AUS, NZ) and France are the only countries to give this game a name that disparages a group of people. OED also told me that 'Russian Scandal' is another, older name for the game. Is it just me or is "Russian", like "English", "French" and "German", for example, just not as offensive as "Chinese" or "Arab"? Weird.
The list of names that other countries use on the English page does actually give the Chinese version of 'telephone' a translatable name: 'pass wrong with wrong'.
The sentences and results I had with the students:
· I want to go swimming but there is no water
I want to swim but there is no water
· My sister killed the teacher
My sister killed my father
· When I went to the store I bought a monkey
I go to the store to buy money
Today was my last day of work before vacation. I leave for Morocco on Monday. I'll find out how gossipy they are. Be back in two weeks...